Page settings

The page settings are used to change the settings of document pages and other data, including:

  • the margins of the pages
  • paper orientation and size
  • paper source for printing
  • different first page or odd pages

The examples on this page show these features in Microsoft Word. The features may be located in slightly different places in other word processors, but they work with similar principles.

Page margins

The margins specify the area left between the edge of the paper and the text body.In Word, you can set the margins on the tab Layout and the Page Setup group. Click on the Margins icon to select a suitable option from a list.


You can set your own margin size by clicking on the button in the lower right-hand corner (see image above). Enter the margin width you want in the fields of the Margins tab of the Page Setup menu that opens up, and then close the window by clicking on OK.

You can also specify how far headers and footers (read more about headers and footers) are from the paper’s edge, and any possible margins necessary for binding a book.

The Finnish Standards Association recommends (the SFS standard) a layout standard for documents; left margin 2 cm, upper margin 1 cm. Right and nether margins are determined by the printer’s minimum requirement (usually 0.9 cm).The recommendations of faculties and departments at the university may differ quite a deal from the SFS standard, so please check with your own department what they recommend.

Paper orientation

You can change the default orientation of a page to be printed horisontally instead of vertically. This is useful e.g. if you have drawn a wide spreadsheet and you want to print it on one page. You can change the orientation with Word on the tab Layout and the group Page Setup. Click on the Orientation icon to select the orientation from the list:
Landscape = horizontal, Portrait = vertical.


Paper size

The paper size normally used in Finland is A4 (21 cm x 29.7 cm). If you want to print out a page on e.g. size A3 paper, you had better change the size of the page you are modifying. In addition, some printers may have the default paper size Letter, which is different from A4. Please remember to check the paper size, especially if the print-out looks different from the document on the screen.

You can change the paper size of a document in Word on the tab Layout and the Page Setup group. Click on the Size icon to open a list where you can select one of the options for page size.


Different first page

You can set the first page of your document to be different from the other pages. This is useful if you e.g. do not want page numbering or other headers/footers on the first page.

You can set a different first page in Word by opening Layout and clicking on the button in the lower right-hand corner of the Page Setup group (see image under the ‘Paper source’ sub-heading above). Go to the Layout tab. Tick the box by Different first page and accept by clicking on OK.


Different odd and even pages

You can set the odd and even pages of your document to be different. In this way, you can make e.g. the headers and footers for odd and even pages different (read more about headers and footers).

With Word, you can set your odd and even pages to be different by opening the Layout tab and clicking on the button in the lower right-hand corner of the Page Setup group (see image after the sub-heading Paper source above). Tick the box at Different odd and even and accept by clicking on OK.


This demonstration shows you how to alter page settings in Microsoft Office Word.